ATHENS — Kirby Smart was asked Wednesday night how deep he could go in his tailback rotation.
“Sure. I think everybody’s in line to get carries,” Smart said. “Nick’s in line. Elijah’s in line. Brendan Douglas is in line. Brian Herrien’s in line. Tae Crowder’s in line. So all those guys are in line to get carries.”
A quick-thinking and good-listening reporter pointed out that Smart left out a name: Sony Michel.
“Yeah. I don’t know if he can play or not,” Smart said.
And that’s the main question in Georgia’s backfield now. While no one is coming out and saying it, all signs point to Nick Chubb playing, starting and getting plenty of carries against North Carolina a week from Saturday. And while freshman Elijah Holyfield is out this week with a sprained ankle, it’s not considered serious.
Michel’s status, however, remains uncertain at best. He’s been practicing on a limited basis, doing whatever he can on the arm he broke in early July. Michel has shown improvement, and has been doing a bit more in practice. But he’s still wearing a black non-contact jersey, and hasn’t been cleared for game action yet.
“If he can play he’ll definitely be in line. He’ll be one of the first ones in line,” Smart said. “But he’s got to be cleared before he can do that.”